by Irma Voigt
Seven student leaders were arrested Saturday night after a brawl in uptown Maumee, Ohio over competing philanthropic events for earthquake relief in both Haiti and Chile.
“We were at Founders’ Gate. We even reserved it through the Union scheduling lady,” said Ashley Orza, president of the Community Activists Club, a registered student organization at Maumee College.
Orza said her organization was making grilled cheese sandwiches for the bar crowd with all donations going to a Haiti relief charity.
“It was totally a nice thing to do,” said Orza. “We wanted to send more money to all those poor people whose lives were destroyed by the earthquake.”
Members of Rho Lambda Chi, a national service honorary, set up shop on the city courthouse steps across from Founders’ Gate. They were selling Walking Tacos to raise money for Chilean earthquake relief.
“It was a last minute thing,” said Bradley Springer, Rho Lambda Chi president. “You know, we’d been planning on raising money for the local domestic violence shelter when this Chile thing happened.”
“We’ve had this planned for months,” said Orza. “It’s not fair. We couldn’t have known that another natural disaster was going to happen. Rho Lambda totally should have given us our space.”
But Springer disagreed.
“To capitalize on this horrible, tragic situation, we needed to strike while the iron was hot,” said Springer. “That’s what Rho Lambda Chi is really all about – exploiting tragedy , selling junk food, and then sending a share of the donations back to those affected by tragedy.”
Things headed south just after 1:00 a.m. according to a report provided by Maumee College Police.
“Witnesses described taco meat flung across the street and grilled cheese sandwiches tossed like Frisbees,” stated the report. The seven student leaders arrested face charges ranging from disorderly conduct to unlawful throwing of meat products in city limits.
Kelly Gibson, Assistant Director of Student Activities at Maumee, said that she plans to address these issues at her next all-organization officers’ meeting.
“We obviously need better communication and guidelines about what necessitates a fundraiser for a natural disaster and how to determine which disaster takes priority.”